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Ice fishing recommendations

Enjoy this guest post by Riversmith

When visiting Noble County, chances are high you are a stone’s throw away from one of the area’s 117 lakes. Surrounded by immense natural beauty and rich history, Noble County Indiana is well known for its endless ice fishing possibilities. 30 of Noble County’s natural lakes offer perfect conditions for ice fishing. How do you decide which lake’s ice to drill into with so many options? Let us lay out the best of the best!

Bear Lake – Near Tri-Lakes

Noble Lake is best known for its sunfish, bass, and pike fish. However, what’s great about Bear Lake is its fish variety. Also home to perch, warmouths, crappies, pumpkinseeds, and bullheads, an ice angler can find just about anything he or she wants on Bear Lake.

136 acres in size, Bear Lake is located a little over 6 miles from Tri-Lakes in Noble County. The most optimal hours for ice fishing here are between 4:00am and 10:00am, when the temperature on the ice is slowly rising with the sun and when the hungry fish are skimming the surface for their next meal.

With such a variety of fish in Bear Lake’s waters, an ice fisherman can get overwhelmed with what to bait their hook with. A sure-fire bait that will capture bites from almost any variety of fish? Worms. You can also try out some small minnows, crickets, or midges, but worms are going to attract just about everything here.

Cree Lake – Near Kendallville

76 acres in size, Cree Lake is about five miles north of Kendallville and is an ice fishing hot spot. This lake has received plenty of nods for being one of the best – if not the best – lakes for ice fishing in the area. A great variety of fish can be pulled from these waters including rock bass, warmouth, perch, bullhead, bowfin, pickerel, crappie, bluegill, gar, largemouth bass, and northern pike.


That said, bluegills and largemouth bass are the dominant catch at Cree Lake. To stock your fly box for these popular fish, you’ve got plenty of options. Bluegills love worms, crickets, grasshoppers, and red wrigglers. Live bait works especially well for bluegills. Largemouth bass, on the other hand, are suckers for crayfish and shad. Largemouth are not picky eaters and will eat just about anything you bait your hook with, but most fisherman choose to go the artificial lure route, especially for multi-day trips. Either way, anglers have a lot of luck here and the conditions are almost always perfect for successful ice fishing!

Sylvan Lake – In Rome City

In the heart of Rome City and 669 acres in size, Sylvan Lake is the largest lake mentioned so far. When ice fishing here, walleyes, bluegills, largemouth bass, and white crappies are most commonly caught. The Department of Fish and Wildlife consistently stock Sylvan with walleyes and have for many years. With many grown well past the minimum keeper size limit, some walleyes reach up to 25 inches!

Large mouth bass

Ice-fishing success has been on the upswing and all the rage at Sylvan Lake. To catch these notorious walleyes, bait your hook with minnows, leeches, and night crawlers. If you’re interested in going after a catch the fly-fishing, bait-casting, or spinning route, your chances are very good on Sylvan Lake- a must visit destination for fisherman year round.

The Fly-Fishing Here Is Top-Notch Too

Speaking of different fishing techniques! With over 30 Department of Natural Resources access points, Noble County is also home to some incredible fly-fishing opportunities for those who don’t like to withstand the winter weather ice fishing is paired with. Take a boat or a kayak and pack along your fishing gear to enjoy a relaxed day on any of Noble County’s waters.

Make Noble County Your Next Fly-Fishing Destination

With 117 lakes in Noble County’s territory, the fishing here is some of the best out there. Wherever you drill into the ice, chances are you’ll have a great time paired up with some magnificent views. If you’re flying to Noble County and are new to the sport but eager to try it out, consider booking with an ice fishing guide that can show a great time. If you’re going to give fly-fishing a whirl and are traveling to Noble County by car, a Riversmith roof rack protects your fly rod, giving you peace of mind on the road. But most important of all, pack an ice cooler big enough for all that you’re bound to catch this winter! Have fun casting in Noble County!


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